Hend wins in Tamsui
Australia’s Scott Hend had to overcome atrocious conditions as well as his opponents to land the Mercuries Taiwan Masters title yesterday at a wet and windy Taiwan Golf and Country Club in Tamsui, New Taipei City. He finished three-under on 285, four strokes ahead of nearest rival Sam Cyr of the US, to earn his fourth Asian Tour victory at the US$600,000 event. Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand and Mohammad Siddikur of Bangladesh were tied for third on 291, while Taiwan’s highest placed player was Lu Wen-teh, who finished tied for sixth with South Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun.
‘Mister Twist’ strikes gold
Kenzo Shirai outshone compatriot Kohei Uchimura to claim gold on the floor as Japan won their third gold at the world gymnastics championships in Antwerp, Belgium, on Saturday. Shirai, nicknamed “Mister Twist,” became the first athlete to perform a quadruple twist at a major event. The 17-year-old took his first world title with 16.000 points ahead of Jacob Dalton of the US. Olympic champion Uchimura had to settle for bronze. It was a good day for Japan with Kohei Kameyama winning gold on the pommel horse. Kameyama scored 15.833 points as Japan’s medal tally reached five. Britain’s Max Whitlock and Daniel Corral Barron of Mexico shared silver. In the women’s apparatus finals McKayla Maroney of the US retained her world title ahead of Simone Biles. North Korea’s Hong Un-jong was third. China’s Huang Huidan won the uneven bars title. The 17-year-old finished ahead of American Kyla Ross and Russia’s Aliya Mustafina.
Monaco go clear
Monaco went three points clear at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday after a late Lucas Ocampos goal gave them a 2-1 win over Saint-Etienne at the Louis II stadium. Ocampos latched onto a cross from the right and pounced inside a crowded penalty box to score with just three minutes remaining. The lifted Monaco three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the Parisians clash with Olympique de Marseille yesterday. Yannick Ferreira Carrasco gave Monaco the lead after 15 minutes with a cool finish following a 30m pass from James Rodriguez. Saint-Etienne equalized early in the second half after a good move down the left allowed Renaud Cohade to feed Romain Hamouma with a long pass which the midfielder controlled perfectly before scoring. The match appeared heading for a draw before the Ocampos’ winner. LOSC Lille Metropole are fourth, just behind Marseille, after brushing aside AC Ajaccio 3-0, Nantes continued their fine form and edged OGC Nice, who lost 1-0 at Toulouse, out of fifth with a 3-0 drubbing of Evian Thonon Gaillard. Stade Rennais lost 2-0 at En Avant de Guingamp and Stade de Reims and Valenciennes drew 1-1.
Big offer for Sonny Bill fight
Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has been offered more than AS$1 million (US$944,000) to prove his boxing credentials against in-form Joseph Parker, whose camp taunted that he would run from the challenge “like a little girl.” Williams, who holds the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association heavyweight crown, has been challenged to step into the ring with rising New Zealand professional Parker in a winner-takes-all bout. “He will be relentlessly ridiculed if he doesn’t step up to take this fight,” Dean Lonergan, from Parker’s promoters Duco Events told the Herald yesterday. Williams has not yet responded to the offer.